Title - Gypsum
Artist - Gypsum
For those not in the know, LA indie-post rock trio Gypsum have just released their critically-acclaimed debut album via Sonic Ritual.
Gypsum, featuring Sapphire Jewell (guitarist and vocalist), Anna Arboles (guitarist and vocalist) and Jessy Reed (drums), formed as a weekly jam session in 2014 as a way for them to “have a safe place to drop the ego that was ever-present in music school,” remembers Jewell.
After a band field trip to the LA. Natural History Museum, the band pulled their name from a mineral that takes both functional and vibrational forms – this idea aligned with the possibilities of the project, which take sits members outside of insular writing and into an ecstatic commitment to the songs and one another.
Assembled through the knotty intersections between guitars, imploring harmonies and exploratory rhythms, Gypsum features all three members on backing vocals, Jewell and Arboles’ voices blending with atomic affinity, rich alto leads encircled by hazily imploring harmony stacks.
Reed, whose interest in Brazilian polyrhythms and Latin percussion inflect her performance, used a hodgepodge of kits ranging from the 1930’s to present, swapping out toms regularly and changing snare tunings to accommodate her “sounds and visions” for each track.
All whilst the guitarists’ lifelong love of riot grrl and grunge inform the dynamic builds of their intricate fretwork.
1. Follow Me
3. Gull Lake
4. Give It
5. Snow White
Opening on the buoyantly joyful Follow Me and the sterner fare of Lungs, they back those up seamlessly with the organically translucent Gull Lake, the drum-led rocker Give It and then we get the ornate, ethereal gossamer of balladry found within Snow White.
Up next is the indie guitar rock ebb and flow of Grafting and the upbeat, melodious and climactically majestically soaring Kaleidoscope which are in turn followed by the dulcet indie pop vibe of Satisfied (complete with its soft, yet ultimately flourishing center), with the album rounding out on the languid mid-tempo strains of Margaret, closing on the free flowing, lushly rhythmic, late ‘80s/early ‘90s Brit alt-pop textures of Disappear.
In closing, the band’s self-titled debut album Gypsum was recorded over 14 days at Station House Studio with engineer Mark Rains (Tanya Tucker, Alice Bag), and is a deeply rewarding listen, dense with mystery, complexity, darkness, majesty and beauty.
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